RadioShack Backtracks on Thanksgiving Hours After Worker Outcry

RadioShack Store
A worker straightens merchandise at a RadioShack Corp. store in Peoria, Illinois. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

RadioShack Corp. is backpedaling on a plan to stay open all day during Thanksgiving after employees balked at the idea.

The retailer, which previously planned to open from 8 a.m. to midnight, will now close between noon and 5 p.m., according to a memo reviewed by Bloomberg whose contents were confirmed by two store managers. That will give employees more time with their families on the holiday.

“We understand the long operating hours posed potential issues with personal scheduling,” Chief Executive Officer Joe Magnacca said in the memo. “Therefore, we have created an adjusted schedule that will eliminate that concern and still capture the opportunity in the marketplace.”

Whether to open on Thanksgiving has become a flashpoint for retailers as they try to entice more shoppers while still respecting what was once a commerce-free holiday. By operating on Thanksgiving, stores aim to extend the traditional Black Friday surge that occurs the day afterward. In the memo, Magnacca cited data showing that most Black Friday weekend sales came on Thanksgiving last year.

“For those who have been with RadioShack for a while, you know that in years past we have opened varying numbers of stores on Thanksgiving Day,” he said. “Last year we took a very different approach and only opened stores required to open per leasing agreements. The result was disappointing sales for RadioShack, not just on that day but for the entire Thanksgiving weekend, due to non-competitive operating hours.”

Merianne Roth,a spokeswoman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Extended Hours

Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Target Corp. are among those planning to open earlier on Thanksgiving this year. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, will stage what it calls a “New Black Friday” event, featuring five days of sales beginning on Thanksgiving day.

RadioShack employees posted comments on an internal message board complaining about the disruption of opening on Thanksgiving -- and the short notice that was given. Some have even resigned, according to one store manager.

“My staff isn’t coming in...they refuse,” another employee posted. “I DON’T BLAME THEM.”

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